Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Friday and Last DAY of 2010!

Well, the last day of the year is here. Woody walked to the library this morning and also to a grocery store to pick up a couple of things that we needed. This afternoon I went out for the first time (except to go next door) since a week ago Wednesday. I have enjoyed having no reason to leave the house! I went to pick up some thread today so I could make a couple of things this evening, but now find that I don't have the energy to get started on a new project...maybe tomorrow...or maybe I'll get a second wind before the evening is over! Woody has been watching football and I am watching "White Christmas." I haven't watched it yet this Christmas season...I must be slipping...that movie is a tradition for me...Woody doesn't care for it so I watch it upstairs in the sewing room on the little TV that only plays DVDs and I usually sew while I watch it. A few minutes ago I loaded the pictures that were in my camera and put them on the computer and sorted all of 2010's pictures are sorted and I will NOT turn on my camera again tonight!

So it is a quiet New Year's Eve here at our house.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Thursday in 2010

I finished sorting 2010 pictures today...looking at some have brought back lots of memories...guess you could say that I have been reviewing our year! For example tonight's blog picture is the front of building 10 at NIH...when I started sorting the NIH pictures, I got to wondering how many trips and how many days out of the year we have spent at NIH plus all the days spent on the road or in the air coming or going. Since I was sorting pictures I decided to divide up the NIH pictures into trips...we have made a total of 8 round-trips...six driving and 2 flying. The number of days spent at NIH or on the road or in the air = 58! So I guess we can say that NIH has taken up just about two months of our 2010!

Woody has spent the day reading, doing crossword puzzles and watching some TV. He also took an hour walk this afternoon. He and Graham spent time later in the afternoon figuring out how to take the money slot mechanism out of Goosey's (Woody's) jelly bean much easier to get to the jelly beans that way! This morning I went over and took care of the grandchildren while Nathan and Kathy went for shots that they need in order to go on a mission trip overseas. Then this afternoon I sorted pictures...the only ones left to sort are those still in my camera. I'm so glad that job is done! And, for the moment I say that I won't let so many stack up before sorting them again...but then I often have good intentions like that and often those good intentions fall by the wayside pretty quickly! I also made a pot of white chili. I'm about to go over to Nathan and Kathy's again so they can have their last date for 2010.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Last Wednesday in 2010

Here is Joy's Christmas present from us..."Goldilocks and the Three Bears" quilt. I mentioned quite a few times over the last months that I was working on her quilt...thought that I should show that it actually got finished and in time to give it to her on Christmas.

Woody and I have both been busy today. This morning Woody walked to town to do a couple of errands including paying our city taxes. Then this afternoon he did our weekly grocery shopping. I vacuumed the downstairs and moved tables and chairs back into the places that they occupy when we aren't using them for a big dinner like Christmas, washed and then folded the table cloths and napkins, and then redecorated the tables. Now I can enjoy the Christmas decorations till it is time for me to tackle the job of putting it all away...and, I'm not going to even think about putting Christmas away till after we come back from NIH. I also tried to get our hotel room reservations at the NIH rates and struck out again so will try again tomorrow. After Woody got back from getting groceries, he got sleepy and rested rather soundly in his recliner. So I went upstairs and decided to rest too and woke up a couple of hours later.

We had mail from NIH today reminding us of Woody's appointments next week. One of the times seemed to conflict so I corresponded by email with Woody's research nurse and she emailed back explaining how to make the times work. Woody bought a couple of snacks for us to take on the trip...guess we are "starting" to get ready for the trip!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Last Tuesday in 2010

It was another brisk day in Middle TN though it did manage to get into the 40's which is much better than it has been the last few days. We have pretty much stayed in and kept warm. Woody did leave a few minutes ago to walk to the prayer room at church. He has mainly read and done crossword puzzles today. I have been sorting pictures on the computer...a lot to sort when I take pictures most every day and I hadn't sorted them into categories since April! But I am all the way to maybe there is hope to have them sorted before 2011 arrives!

I did email Woody's research nurse this morning with the information about when we planned to arrive. I also attempted to get our hotel reservations, but thus far haven't been able to find the 800# person who can find the correct NIH patient rates...maybe tomorrow...the closer to the dates we want the room for the more likely they will be willing to give the room at that rate. I can't believe that we will be there a week from tonight...the good Lord willin'!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Monday of 2010

I don't think that I ever posted a picture of our Christmas tree this year. Of course this was taken earlier in the month as there are no longer gifts under the tree now! We have pretty much had a lazy more than Woody. Woody walked about four miles this afternoon. It is still pretty nippy around out, but the sun did come out today and the temperatures rose just slightly above freezing for a short while. Graham called this morning wanting to come over to finish the geography game that we started yesterday. Then after a while Abigail and Esther came over and the three of them stayed till it was time for their lunch. Joy was at the doctor...her throat was bothering problem with her ears and the initial test said that it wasn't strep...we just want her to feel her perky self quickly! After lunch I worked in the sewing room...multitasking...sewing (machine embroidery which sews by itself except for changing thread and I was doing something that was all white) and sorting pictures and watching a couple more of the old Christmas cartoons/shorts. The cutest one that I watched today was made in 1970..."Santa Claus and the Three Bears." I am trying to get caught up on sorting pictures. When I download them they go into a folder for that day in a file that is called "photos to be sorted"...well, there are lots of days that haven't gotten sorted into their right month and/or category so I am working on that this week. Kathy, Graham and Abigail came over later in the afternoon. Graham wanted me to serge a seam that was raveling on his juggling balls bag that he got for Christmas. Abigail and Graham sorted the buttons that Abigail had cut off some old shirts and pants of Woody's. And, Kathy downloaded some of my pictures that they wanted. Kathy took home one of the brain teaser puzzles and was back shortly with it all done. I have worked on one of the other brain teaser puzzles this far it isn't together! Woody has read, worked crossword puzzles, and watched some TV today.

I guess tomorrow I will have to start trying to get our hotel reservations for next week. Looks like the East coast is getting or predicted to get lots of snow...hope that it will be through snowing and that all roads will be clear next week! I will email the research nurse and tell her that we will be needing to stay in Bethesda Tuesday night as Woody's tests start early in the morning on Wednesday. She will then put in the okay with the voucher people. I think that it is best that we are driving as it looks like air travel will be backed up due to all the bad weather! If the weather is too bad for us to drive we will notify them to reschedule Woody's appointments. At this stage in the study a slight delay shouldn't be a problem. The fact that we haven't been for two months makes it seem like forever since we were there last! It seems like forever since we were in AZ, too...but a month ago we were still there...going to Glendale Glitters.

I am having some computer if I miss a post figure that we are fine and that it is the computer that is sick and is seeing the computer doctor!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Another Snow(y) Day!

This morning we woke up to the ground AND the roads white...which meant in my mind that probably there would be ice under the white on the roads since the roads were wet last night. I turned on the computer to see if there was any news posted about church. The first word that we got via email was that we were going to have church services today...then about ten minutes later we got another email that said that our pastor had gone outside and that services were cancelled! So we have had a lazy, stay-at-home, quiet day. Graham and Abigail came over to show us some ipod holders that they had made. On their way out the door they spotted the pickle presents that had never been played with on they headed towards them and I went to the phone to tell their parents that they had gotten side tracked! Shortly after that Joy arrived so she could check out the new things also. They had fun and then one by one they drifted back to their house...Graham being the last hold-out...staying till it was their lunch time. While they were here Woody and I helped them with a couple of the brain-teaser puzzles that they had gotten. Woody and Graham conquered one of the puzzles...but there is another one that is still on the floor not conquered yet! Graham and I also set up and started playing a geography game that they got.
Woody attended church via TV, has watched football and a DVD or two, rested, worked crossword puzzles, and read. I came upstairs to the sewing room after lunch and started watching a Christmas DVD that Nathan and family gave me...vintage Christmas classics...cartoons and shorts and also old Christmas movies. I haven't gotten through all the cartoons and shorts yet. I took a short nap this afternoon. I also filled out the rebate form (trying to follow all instructions so it won't be void!) for the photo software that Woody gave me for Christmas. I worked/played some with the software...some of the results you see in tonight's blog pictures...I used several of the special effects so you could see that it was snowing at the time that I took these pictures today. I haven't been successful in getting my computer and wireless printer to talk to each other this afternoon so haven't been able to print anything or scan the things that I wanted to scan so I could recycle the items after I scanned and saved them on the computer. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow I'll hold my mouth just the right way and all will work!
Now that Christmas is behind us, I have to start thinking about making reservations for a hotel in Bethesda. Woody has scans and doctor appointments on January 5th and 6th at NIH. We are planning to drive so be praying for good weather/road conditions! I wouldn't mind seeing snow...just not on the roadways!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

Wow! What a day! Melany, Wade, Erin & Alex arrived around 9am and the festivities got underway. I think that the neighbors (Nathan, Kathy, Graham, Abigail, Joy, Esther, and Elijah) were watching for Aunt Melany and Uncle Wade to arrive because they arrived very shortly after they drove up. We unwrapped presents, played with presents, one took naps (Elijah took two while here today), ate, played some more, etc. It was a very busy fun-filled day. Tonight's picture is courtesy of Erin (17) our oldest granddaughter. She and Alex had this "thing" going with Esther and Mr. Bear. Esther was trying to keep possession of it and they kept trying to steal him away. We only had a couple of tears out of this game. In the end Erin spirited Mr. Bear away to a new hiding place and put the glasses on him and placed the Merry Christmas card in his paw and left him sitting on my laptop keyboard. Erin then went down and asked Esther if she knew where Mr. Bear was and Esther said "yes." And, that seemed to end the game...Esther thought she knew where he was so she never realized that he had been taken again! Erin brought me upstairs to see where she had put Mr. Bear and suggested that I take a picture and use it for the here it is!

When I left the family room to come up to write tonight's blog, Woody was resting. He said that he was "sleepy." I say that I am "tired!" Woody washed just about every dish by hand after our Christmas lunch and while he was doing that I put food away and then started putting dishes away. When Woody took a bit of a break from the dishes, Kathy took over and finished washing what was left and I continued to put them away. Melany and family left around 4:30 and the neighbors minus Elijah left a little after that. Elijah was still napping. When he woke up he came downstairs and sat in Goosey's lap while he totally woke up and then Kathy came and got him. Melany and family are heading back to get ready for their family Christmas tomorrow which is to be held at their house this year...I know that if I were them I would still have quite a bit to do to get ready! Nathan and family headed home so they could go to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at our church. Woody and I just sat and stared ahead of us at the news and found it hard to move! I found myself trying to doze and I knew that I had better get upstairs and blog or I would go to sleep and might not wake up till morning! My excuse for being so tired...adrenalin has stopped flowing! Woody's excuse for being so sleepy...he didn't get in his morning and afternoon naps today! 'Tis the season!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve

I'm taking a break from cooking! I think that I only have one more recipe to assemble and then I'm through in the kitchen. It is good for me to have as much finished as possible before all the confusion begins tomorrow! My helper elf has followed behind me some today in helping me keep my messes under control...but he hasn't been in the kitchen for a while and I'm about out of bowls and measuring devices, etc! He told me a few minutes ago that he would clean up the kitchen...he doesn't know what he is asking for!

We have had a stay-at-home day. Woody did go for a walk this afternoon. He has been reading, doing crossword puzzles, and resting. After lunch we watched Nathan and Kathy's family DVD from how the children have grown since 09!

Well, I'd best get back to my cooking...tomorrow will come very quickly. Our family Christmas festivities will begin as soon as Wade, Melany, Erin and Alex arrive from Murfreesboro. 'Tis the season!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"It's cold in Bethlehem!"

Tonight's title is a direct quote of our 3-year-old granddaughter, Esther-Noel. And, Tullahoma's Bethlehem was definitely cold tonight...she is so right! She made this statement after she got to go out and experience the Bethlehem village this evening. The wind was blowing so it made it feel even colder. I tried to take some pictures of the Bethlehem village, but I just couldn't stand the cold nor could I keep the camera still. I had hoped to get some longer night exposures so took my monopod and hoped to be able to prop it up against some of the posts to keep the camera still. Well, I tried that and the wind just wouldn't let me keep the camera still even when it was propped. So I took the camera off the monopod and opened the flash and got a couple of good pictures of the manger and the camels and headed back inside! I ended up watching two of Nathan and Kathy's shows and again took scads of pictures. Hopefully there will be a couple of good ones that they can use for promotions. Once again their performances were superb (I'm only slightly prejudiced...but they truly are amazing!). Their performances were even better tonight than last night. They put on three shows each of the three nights...very tiring for the whole family! But they are all troupers!

Woody went on a four or five mile walk today. He said that he hadn't anticipated the wind so it was a bit colder than he had expected. Later in the morning he went to the Credit Union, WalMart, Lowes, Kroger, and Radio Shack. So we have food for me to make our Christmas meal, a battery for my kitchen timer, and light bulbs (CFL's) for our bedroom overhead light. We are in good shape! Grandchildren were in and out at one time or another today. Graham vacuumed our stairs...a big help for my back! Elijah had to come over and have Goosey read "EIEIO" to him. Abigail came over with good news from her ear surgeon appointment. The ear drum that they made and placed in her ear is doing better than expected at this point in the healing. It is already growing blood vessels. The surgeon was very pleased. Abigail is so hopeful that she won't have to have more ear surgeries! The children were all anticipating Kathy's parents' arrival. They got here in time to be able to go to one of the performances tonight much to the children's delight. I plan to stay home tomorrow and get ready (cook) for our family Christmas celebration on Friday. 'Tis the season!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In the center ring!

This is one of the acts where Nathan and Kathy and all the children are in it. Esther is on the right crawling into the center of Kathy's rope so she can stand up...which she did. Elijah stood so very still at every show in the center of his daddy's rope...and the other three spun ropes on their own. Woody and I drove to church this evening. We went to the first juggling show. After the show Woody took his leave and walked home. I stayed and watched and took pictures during the rest of their "Circus 4 ever" shows. They all did a great job. There was a lion, and there were stilt walkers, and funny clowns, and giant yo-yo performers, and fire juggling, and club passing, and unicyclers...quite a circus...with a great message to go along with all the acts. Since it was a bit of a rainy night I decided to stay in where it was dry. I'll venture over to the Little Town of Bethlehem tomorrow night.

Woody wrapped a few more gifts today. This afternoon we went over to Nathan and Kathy's and watched four of the five children while Nathan, Kathy and Joy went to see about getting Joy's passport renewed. I think that we have our menu planned for Friday and I got the needed ingredients on the grocery list so Woody can go to the grocery store tomorrow.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Christmas Invitation to come to the manger!

You're invited to First Baptist, Tullahoma's 14th annual "A Night in Bethlehem," Dec. 21, 22, 23 from 6:30pm to 9pm. Every night you will find the bustling streets of Bethlehem and the quiet stable with the babe in the manger. There will be concerts by our choir and other choirs in the community. Nightly Nathan and Kathy and family will present their new circus program...there will even be a curly headed lion! Come and experience the real meaning of Christmas!

Woody has had quite a workout today. He swept the street in front of our house...which meant moving a lot of debris. He also raked part of the big garden between Nathan's and our front yard. Later in the afternoon he went on a long walk. He is now wrapping gifts.

I completed Joy's quilt this morning. Then, and I'm sure some will wonder over this...I finally unpacked from our trip to AZ! I came home and jumped right into decorating and I didn't ever completely unpack...but the things that remained in the suitcase were things that aren't worn at this time of the year here in TN. So it was like moving seasonal closets once again...short sleeve tops and crop pants to the warm weather closet! The suitcase is empty...but I still have several more things to find hangers for and hang up in the closet. It seems that I have moved seasonal clothing several times this year! Graham came over this afternoon for a little time. He has been so busy lately with school work that he hasn't had much time to come over. We read Christmas stories, baked an apple in a present I received yesterday...a stoneware apple baking dish. Woody and I baked a large apple yesterday after church and it was let Graham try the new baking dish out this afternoon. He approved of his special treat! Then he and I played around with the photo software that I'm trying out...he had fun with the liquefying tool...he liquefied a picture of Abigail to peels of laughter! We looked at a book about snowflakes after reading the Snowflake Bentley book (one of the first people who photographed a snowflake back in the 1800's. So we had a good afternoon. Kathy called before he came home and asked that he bring the steam floor cleaner that we share between our houses. I hadn't used it since I brought it over here from their house the other day so I quickly swept my kitchen floor and then steam cleaned the floor before he went home. Graham played restaurant with Goosey (Woody) while I did the floor.

Busy day...and, the next 3 days will prove to be probably busier especially with the evenings filled with "A Night in Bethlehem." We will be having our Christmas on the 24th so lots to do between now and then!

After I got the dishwasher loaded this evening, I treated myself to a Christmas cup of peppermint ice cream with Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate sauce...mmmmmmmmm...'tis the season!!!!!

It's cloudy here or I would be tempted to stay up and attempt to get pictures of the total lunar eclipse in the wee hours tonight!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Job hunters!

This afternoon our doorbell rang and two little girls (who looked very familiar) were standing there wanting to rake some leaves because they wanted to earn some money. Goosey invited them in as the leaves didn't need to be raked. He said that he was sure that he could find something inside for them to do. They negotiated and they agreed to do the dishes for a nickel each! After they were finished with the dishes (there weren't a lot), I came up with a couple of jobs for them. They carried the Christmas presents downstairs and put them under the tree. They each got a gold dollar for that job (saved me lots of trips up and down the stairs!). Then they helped add a hanging string to the ornaments that I had made for them and their sister and brothers. They each earned a dime for that job. Then they were satisfied with what they had earned and were ready to go home to take the ornaments to their siblings. I walked them over...well, Woody carried Abigail back as she had taken her shoes off...she had been trying to wear the boots that we gave her last Christmas and she finally decided that they were too small. I stayed over there for a while and was entertained by many gymnastic moves and lots of cuddles from Esther.

Woody and I both went to Sunday School this morning. Woody taught his class. We came home and have taken it easy most of the rest of the day. Woody has watched football, come up with a job for Abigail and Joy, walked around the block, worked crossword puzzles, read and relaxed. I'm planning to take Joy's quilt downstairs and see if there is a Christmas DVD or VHS to watch while I attempt to finish attaching the binding.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Birthday Pie!

Happy 64th birthday, Goosey (Woody)! We have had a very busy day. Woody once again got up earlier than I did (not hard to do since he often gets up at 4am...not me!). A little after 8 Elijah and Esther came over to stay for a while. The rest of the family were going to the mall. The gymnastics group that Graham, Abigail and Joy are a part of were putting on a demonstration. Nathan juggled for the group. We had a fun time with the two little ones. Woody got them to help him make a carrot salad...they helped while he peeled the carrots. After Nathan picked up the children, we got making pies and Woody finishing up his marinated carrot salad. Woody's favorite pie is pecan so I made one and also a pumpkin pie (for the little ones who didn't need the nuts and for that is "about" my favorite pie). After lunch Woody walked to the library...while I was still making pies! Later in the afternoon we both watched one of the DVDs that he got at the library. It was one of the American Girl movies...the Samantha Christmas movie. We both really enjoyed it. We took it over to Nathan and Kathy's as we thought that it would be a good movie for their whole family to watch.

A little after we finished watching the movie, we got the call that supper next door was finished and that we could bring over the pies. Kathy wanted to send the children back with us since they got such a shot of sugar so close to bedtime! But they are over at their house and we are back at ours. The pies must have been a hit as we came home with one piece of pumpkin and one piece of pecan. It was a fun party...balloon party hats and a happy birthday sign and some streamers and a red streamer bow on Goosey's chair. Woody managed to blow out his 64 candles...of course there were only two candles to blow out!

The blessing of the day is that two years ago we didn't think that Woody would reach 63 after his diagnosis of 4th stage melanoma and today we saw him turn 64! Praise God for such blessings! And, as Woody always adds to the end of the "Happy Birthday" song..."And many more!"

Friday, December 17, 2010

Birthday Eve

Since a week from today is Christmas Eve...this must be Birthday Eve...since Woody's birthday is one week before Christmas! Woody got up early this morning. Once again I was a slug-a-bed. Woody walked to the community center and spun for an hour. On the way home he stopped at the fruit market and bought apples and tomatoes and then he stopped at the pharmacy to pick up one of his prescriptions. Later this afternoon he went to the grocery store as I needed a couple of things so I can make him birthday pie tomorrow. Elijah (1) came over to see Goosey this afternoon. He walked into the family room and said "EIEIO" to Goosey...a request for Woody to read "Old MacDonald Had a Farm."

Today has been a technology nightmare...all that was needed was a 2-inch picture of Joy for her passport. Well, Nathan's printer printed the picture in tones of green. So he sent the picture by email to me so I could attempt to print it out here. Well.............hours later we (Nathan and I) finally did get a picture that conformed with the government least we think that we have one they will accept...time will tell! Abigail (7) came over late this afternoon and read a couple of stories to me and then Woody and I both read some books to her. She ended up staying and helping me make a casserole...she's a good help in the kitchen!

I was ready when it was time to take my "supper" medicine...and when I went to take it I realized why I was so ready...I hadn't taken my "breakfast" medicine. So I am still waiting for the meds to kick in! I don't think that Woody understands how I can forget to take it...but if I get out of routine (and lately there hasn't been a lot of routine) I do least that is my excuse! Perhaps another excuse...'Tis the Season!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas in the Neighborhood

Woody and I both got up early today (Woody a bit earlier than I). I started right in on making two yummy jello salads/desserts...Strawberry Pretzel Salad. Woody did have to run to the store while I was making the salads as he had only gotten enough strawberries for one salad...oops! I made one for us and one for the neighbors (Nathan and Kathy and family). After it got all put together and had jelled a bit, we took it over and put it in their refrigerator. They were away so it was a surprise for when they returned. We planned to go on a walk around the neighborhood and into the next subdivision so I could take pictures of some of the wreaths and other decorations...but a light rain kept us from going for a while. Finally it let up enough for us to head out. I did take a plastic bag in my pocket to cover my camera in case it started raining again...which it did. We were rather damp by the time we got back home. The temperatures had warmed up some...but it was still rather chilly due to it being so damp and rather windy.

Woody took it upon himself to get the boxes back in the Christmas closet today. That is quite a job! I am very pleased to have them out of the upstairs hall. Woody read and worked crossword puzzles this afternoon and I have worked on scanning some articles into the computer that I want to keep, but want to rid myself of a stack of magazines..not exactly something that I needed to do at this time, but I saw the pile of things and decided to lessen the stack...and the printer/scanner was talking to the computer so took advantage of that! I listened to Christmas Cd's while doing that. Just before I came upstairs a little while ago, Woody put in a DVD to watch. I got a call from the neighbors a little earlier this evening questioning us as to whether we had run out of room in our refrigerator and were using space in theirs...I could hear in the background that the children were happy to learn it was for them to eat (parents were happy too)!
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Busy Day!

Woody was grocery shopping before 7am. He went to both WalMart and Kroger. He also got gas for the car. He came home and put all the groceries away as I was being a "slug-a-bed" (as Woody would call me since I slept in). Mid-morning Woody walked to the community center and spun for 48 min. I headed into the sewing room after I got up and made another Christmas ornament. Then this afternoon I made Chicken and Sausage Gumbo...quite a few steps to the finished product but well worth the effort...yum! Woody has been reading and working crossword puzzles this afternoon and evening and going behind me cleaning up my cooking messes.

Tonight's picture was taken on Monday...our snowy day this week. The snow blew up on our front porch and decorated the objects on a little table that is right next to the house. Tonight we are predicted to have freezing rain. I think that we may be right on the edge of it and hopefully won't have many problems...time will tell. I got a phone call from the school system two counties away around noon...telling me that they were letting out two hours early due to predicted inclement weather that was supposed to arrive about the time that school would let out and they wanted to get school buses on their way before the bad weather hit. We received that call because we are an emergency contact number for our two oldest grandchildren who go to school in that county. Melany called when she got home to let me know that they had gotten out early and I told her that I already knew!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another Wintry Day

When Woody got up this morning, Weather Bug said that it was 9F. Brrrrrrrrrr! According to Weather Bug it did get to 30 couldn't prove it by me because I stayed inside all day. This morning Woody made pumpkin pudding for a lunch treat for Nathan and Kathy and family. I worked on straightening up the downstairs, vacuuming, getting out the Christmas mugs and storing away everyday mugs. After lunch, Woody walked to the community center to spin. He spun for 48 minutes and then walked home. While he was gone I finally made it into my sewing room and have stayed there most of the rest of the day. I am letting my machine make Christmas ornaments with me changing threads when it stops and I have also done a little more on getting the binding sewn down on Joy's quilt. The machine stops so often that it doesn't give me much time to stitch on the binding. The machine is sewing as I am is finishing up the outline around the ornament. When this finishes in about 3 minutes (if the machine time is accurate) that will make the second ornament completed today. Woody finished another book today and headed back to the box of church library books to find another to read. Shortly after supper Woody headed off walking to the prayer room at church. Well, the machine has beeped signaling that it is finished stitching the ornament. Off to choose another one to stitch...I think that there is enough time to stitch it out least I can gather the colors for the next one.

Monday, December 13, 2010


What fun ALL the children had...including the children's parents! The children's grandparents enjoyed the cold and snow from the inside...well, Woody did sweep steps and sidewalks several times hoping to keep anyone from slipping. One by one the children drifted in to warm up with hot chocolate and then watched PBS and/or played. This afternoon Woody and I watched the dvd that Nathan has produced of all that they have done this year. Fun to watch and see how each of the children has grown during the year...especially Elijah.
I added Christmas to the shadow box in the kitchen (I think I am finished decorating now...but then I might still want to do the greenery on the staircase...just can't decide if I want to put out the effort). I'm really ready for Woody to pack up the Christmas closet and get all these boxes out of sight! I published the blog collage before I meant to tonight and am having to type after and it insists on making me type from the center so there is no telling what it will look like.
This evening Woody has been resting in his recliner...I think more resting than crossword puzzle doing or reading has been happening. It has been a fun day. I'll bet the neighbor children sleep well tonight. I just hope that their parents can move tomorrow! They had quite a workout today...building forts, pulling sleds, snow ball fights, snow angels...even Nathan made quite a large snow angel and Esther made her first snow angel...a rather small one compared to her daddy's! I think that fun was had by all and we really enjoyed the impromptu snow party held at our house. Nathan and Kathy got to have some of the leftover wassail that I made for yesterday's party.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Get to the Manger!

What a busy Sunday! Woody and I got up and went to Sunday School...snow was in the air and on the yards and on the streets! Woody taught Sunday School. After Sunday School Woody and I parted ways...he went home and I went to my ladies' Sunday School Class Christmas party. What a fun time we had...lots of laughs, good food, good fellowship...we have such fun when we are together! This year instead of meeting in one of our homes, one of our members hosted it at a home built in the 1800's in Normandy, TN. It is now called "Petticoat Junction." It is used for different functions from dinner parties to scrapbooking parties, etc. We all brought food...and we are such GOOD cooks that we all walked away probably just a little bit too full (I wasn't interested in eating supper tonight!) After we ate we had our annual ornament exchange. I read the story about the Right Family and once again...though we have done it so many times... we laughed really hard and got thoroughly mixed up as to which was our right and left! But we each ended up with new ornament for our tree. A fun time was had by all who attended!

It snowed while we were there, but it really wasn't sticking at that point and we came home on clear roads. I got home and told Woody about our fun time and then hung my new ornament on the tree and then came upstairs. I started checking a couple of things on the computer and the next thing I knew I had fallen asleep in my chair in front of the computer! Woody came up and suggested that I go lie down before I broke my neck! So I took a nap! Woody woke me up when it was time for me to go to church to watch (and take pictures of) the children's Christmas musical, "Get to the Manger." He told me that he was going to drive me to church...and when I walked out the door I realized why...what should greet my eyes...but a winter wonderland! He dropped me off at church and told me that he would come back and get me if I couldn't hitch a ride home with someone (like our neighbors). Graham (8) and Abigail (7) were in the musical and did a great job...all the kids did. After the musical, there were refreshments in the fellowship hall. Then Nathan and Kathy did find a spot for me in their van and we were off over the snowy streets of Tullahoma.

There was a great shout of joy from the children at church when it was announced during the fellowship that there would be no school tomorrow for Tullahoma (this is a rarity).

Woody had cleared a path up the driveway and had also worked on one from Nathan and Kathy's house over to our house so I could get safely back inside. He has gotten a bit of a workout sweeping snow today! He has worked crossword puzzles, read, watched a little football and had the TV on as background noise.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's Raining! It's Pouring!

It has been dreary all day. It started raining this afternoon and it doesn't look like it will let up any time soon. Wonder if it will turn to snow!

Woody got up super early and walked eight miles. When I got up this morning, I headed straight to the kitchen to start making wassil (the way my college recipe spells it). I am making it for my ladies' Sunday School Christmas party that is tomorrow. Once it is put together and brought to the boiling point it has to sit for 12 hours...still sitting! Once the wassil got to its sitting stage, I started in again on the tree. I finally got it finished around 3pm. Hip-hip-hooray! Now to run the vacuum and pick up a few other things and the living room will be presentable and ready for Christmas once again!

Woody went to the library and stopped at the drugstore to pick up some of my prescriptions. The little girls came over and watched the new Christmas Veggie Tales DVD (a perk of being the church librarian's grandchildren...get to watch them before they are processed!). Woody has watched DVD's, read, worked crossword puzzles, and helped pack back some of the ornament boxes. He has a big job ahead of him...repacking the Christmas closet with all the boxes that I have emptied!

I am now in the midst of making a pot of soup and waiting for it to come to a boil before I add the next ingredients. That about sums up our day. I don't know about Woody, but I am tired.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Beginning to Look, Smell, Taste, Sound a Lot Like Christmas!

Tonight's picture is one of the tastes and smells that makes it Christmas around our house. (Can't you almost smell and taste it just by looking at the picture?!) Woody made Chex Mix today...lots of Chex Mix! Yum! Yum! It smelled incredible while about something that makes your mouth water! He makes it the old fashioned way...long baking time and stirring it every fifteen minutes. Woody left me with one of the batches with the stirring duty when he walked about five miles this afternoon. Today's other taste was Peppermint Stick Ice Cream. That's a taste that brings back memories of childhood Christmases for me.

Woody and I got up early this morning. I planned to get going on the Christmas tree...but...Woody decided to write the Christmas letter and I got in on that. He wrote it out longhand and then I typed it into the computer. He is a bit slower typer than I am since he has to type one-handed due to his left arm lacking range of motion. I got it typed out and he proofed it and then we got it printing. Then he folded the letters and put them in the envelopes with the cards, sealed them and put them in the mail. For some years Woody has taken on the task of addressing our Christmas cards. It varies as to who writes the Christmas letter...sometimes me, sometimes Woody, and sometimes both of us.

The sounds of Christmas are coming from my CD player that I have here in the sewing room. I turned it up really loud so I could hear it downstairs while I got busy on the Christmas tree. The tree is a major task...but what fun...and...what wonderful memories! You can be assured that if you have ever given us an ornament you were thought about today. Each ornament brings back a it just that I have put it on the tree for more than 40 years, or a memory of a special place/vacation/trip where it was purchased, or a memory of the special person who gave the ornament to us. Today while hanging the ornaments, I called a few of these special people who I hadn't talked with for some a special friend who moved to Georgia some years ago and the other a neighbor who moved across town some years ago. It was good to touch base with them! So lots of good memories have run through my mind today. I wish that I could say that the tree is all decorated, but it still has many ornaments to be put on...but with each one it looks a little more like Christmas around here! I do think that I have more than half of the ornaments on. Hopefully when I blog tomorrow night I can say that it is all a matter of fact my goal is to be completely finished decorating tomorrow.

I have to take breaks periodically from hanging gets to my back. So I decided to lie down and rest (really Woody sent me off to rest) late this afternoon...well, next thing that I knew it was dark outside! Guess I needed to close my eyes for a while...bit longer than a power nap, though. While I rested our band fruit order was delivered, Compost Boy "flew" through, and Woody completed his last recipe of Chex Mix. Woody is relaxing this evening watching a DVD. I guess I'll turn up my Christmas music loud and head back downstairs and hang a few more ornaments on the tree. I sure could use our six-foot grandchildren...the top of the tree still is a little bare, since it involves me climbing up on the step ladder and leaning into the tree. I had Woody spot me this morning while I leaned really far into the tree to place the star on the top!

Hope that it is beginning to look, smell, taste, sound a lot like Christmas wherever you are!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry here in TN!

It got down to 15 degrees F here last night...that's pretty cold for us! It got up to 45F and is "only" supposed to get down to 25F tonight...and there is supposed to be a warming trend till the next cold front comes through over the weekend...big warming trend since tomorrow is Friday! Tonight's picture is a red barn that I took on our trip back to TN from AZ. I have been playing (trying out) with some new software...this is one of the special effects.

Woody and I both got up early this morning. I got busy decorating the dining room. I made many trips up and down the step ladder putting angels on top of our china cabinet. It is finished AND the dining room table has been cleared off and is now decorated for Christmas. One more room marked off! The main thing left is the living room Christmas tree (I still have to do the shadow box in the kitchen.). Woody got up and immediately started in on making Vegetarian Chili...lots of chopping of veggies for that one. It also has a long cooking time...the longer the better...according to the recipe. We let it cook for four hours this time. After Woody got it to simmering, he took off on a walk to do some errands...leaving me with instructions to stir the chili while he was gone. He walked eight miles. This afternoon we went next door for a celebration dessert...yum!!!! Homemade Gingerbread Trifle...homemade gingerbread, fresh whipped cream, homemade custard and raspberries...very yummy and very pretty! It was very much enjoyed by all! A little while after we walked back to our house, we got a call that two little girls (Joy and Esther) wanted to come over and play with the Fisher Price Manger. I kept working on the dining room while they played in the living room. Eventually they turned into the animals that are a part of the manger scene (some zoo animals were acted out also)...coming through making the noise of an animal and having us guess what animal they were pretending to be. Later we played the music boxes throughout the house...often with more than one tune playing at once...sometimes the same tune..."sort of" like a round??!! After they went home, I finished cleaning up the leftover decorating mess in the dining room and taking the empty boxes upstairs. Woody has watched the news and has worked on a cross word puzzle and has read today. He is now addressing our Christmas cards...guess that means that we had better get busy and write our Christmas letter!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Progress with help!

The tree decorating got underway with several helpers today. Joy and Esther-Noel came over first. The top row of pictures shows their work. The middle top picture shows most of Esther's hard work...most on the same branch! They are looking at the Fisher Price Nativity ornament that I bought for the tree the year that we gave them the FP Nativity. This afternoon Graham and Abigail came over after they got their school work done. You can tell that they are taller as the ornaments went up a little higher on the tree when they were finished. Looks like we need our two grandchildren, who are now in the 6 ft. range, to come to decorate the top! The picture on the bottom right is of the color sorting robot that Graham built on Saturday when Melany, Erin and Alex were here. He had some help from Alex and also Aunt Melany when building it. But today he followed all the steps to get it programmed all by himself. You put the colored balls on a platform and they roll into a place and the robot tells outloud what color they are and then deposits them in the correct place on the spinning front part. Very neat. Great job, Graham!

This morning Woody got up and made himself some pancakes. When I got up, they were all gone. But have no fear my neighbors (Nathan and Kathy) were looking out for me and they invited me over to their house for breakfast. They were having Nathan's prize-winning biscuits (He won first place for his biscuits in a 4-H Martha White baking contest when he was in 3rd and 4th grade. He beat out the girls!). Now these weren't the ones he made back all those years...just the same recipe! So I ate breakfast over there and then came home to continue with the ongoing decorating! I told Woody that I was finished decorating the kitchen and then this afternoon I found a box that had more trees to put up above the cabinets...and...I forgot that I haven't redone the shadow box in the kitchen for a bit more to do in there. Woody did our weekly grocery shopping...his workout for the day. Later in the afternoon he went over to a fellow coin collector's house. I had two sets of children in for decorating. The little girls also helped me get the doll corner upstairs ready for Christmas...and had a pretend tea party with the dolls. So sweet! Both sets enjoyed looking at the ornaments as they took them out of their boxes and wrappings. Abigail sang Christmas songs while she helped put ornaments on the tree.

I headed off to the church about 4:30 and got home around 7. I shelved a lot of returned books and then processed five books and two DVD's getting them ready to be checked out. When I got home from church, Woody was downstairs wrapping presents while watching the PBS Christmas special.

'Tis the season!
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Too much time on his hands?????

I will leave you, our blog readers, to be the judges, as to whether Woody has too much time on his hands. I left to get my hair cut this morning and was gone a little over an hour. When I returned home, I found this lamp shade covered with wrapping paper. I asked him where he had gotten the idea and he said from a television show. He had watched Rachel Ray and she had a guest on this morning who claims he can wrap anything. He then proceeded to wrap everything in Rachel Ray's kitchen...including a lamp...and thus the idea was born!!!!!!!! Woody says that he will improve on the pattern with the next one. There's going to be a next one??????!!!!!!!!!!! That remains to be seen! When I told my sister what he had done, she told the tale of one her customers who came in each year to buy new wrapping paper. This lady wrapped all the pictures on her walls to look like packages! Shhhhhhhhhh don't tell Woody...he will be doing that next!!!!!

Woody walked to the community center this afternoon. He spun for over an hour this time. On the way home he stopped at the fruit market and got some apples. Nathan and Kathy raked a ton of leaves down to the road for us today. Elijah was outside with them. One time when I opened the door, he was on the front porch, so I invited him in. He played tea party for a while...which consists of taking the dolls out of their chairs so he can sit in the chairs himself and then he pretends to cut the play cakes and goodies and pretends to drink and eat. When Woody got back from spinning, Elijah immediately went to him with a book. He loves Woody to read EIEIO to him. I have been packing up things that have been gathering on the dining room table...getting ready to decorate the dining room table and the top of the china cabinet. But next I will do the little that gets done in the the space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling...that requires lots of going up and down the step ladder...but I think that I have found all the trees that go up there. That space already looks Christmasy since it is filled with lots of different things that have to do with apples (acquired while teaching!) so I just add a few trees to give it that Christmas touch. I have hung a few ornaments on the tree...about 10...that means about 700 to go!!!!!!!!! Woody said that I could stop with what I have put on...but I think not! He can cover lamp shades...I will hang ornaments!

I made marinara sauce this afternoon to have on some of the whole wheat pasta that we bought while in Maryland last. Then a little after we finished supper, a friend stopped by to see if I had some buttons that she needed. She brought two squares of a yummy dessert in exchange for the two buttons that she took! We definitely came out on the better side of that deal! After Woody ate his dessert, he headed off walking to church for his time in the prayer room.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Tea

I'm enjoying my first cup of "Christmas tea" while I blog. My herbal raspberry tea seems to taste better in a Christmas mug! I'm also listening to Josh Groban's "Noel" CD...'tis the season!

This morning I remembered to call back the Vanderbilt research nurse. She called us while we were away and left a message. She was checking in with seems that one or another of the research nurses calls us about every two months. She was very happy to hear that Woody is doing so well. I did find out that the "treatment," that at one time the closest place to get it was in Knoxville, is now being done at if down the road Woody should need it, we won't have to travel so far. She asked about the pain in Woody's shoulder and I told her that the medication that they prescribed at NIH seems to be working great.

It's a cold day here with a cold wind blowing. It only made it to 32 F according to Weather Bug. It is now 25 F. It is supposed to get into the teens tonight. Despite the cold temperatures, Woody walked to the community center and spun for about 50 min. Then he walked home. He has been reading. He must have finished a book, as he just asked if I had more books that I had ordered for the church library (he's usually first to get his hands on a lot of the non fiction for our library...a husband of the library director perk?!). I told him that there were two boxes of books that I haven't had time to open from the book order that arrived while we were he is a happy camper!

I ran a couple of errands this afternoon and then came back to more decorating. The Beyer's Carolers are all in their places in the living room. A small Christmas tree has been decorated with about 50 miniature cross stitch ornaments that I cross stitched years ago for my aunt. Shortly the "only" thing that will be need to be done in the living room is putting the ornaments on the BIG tree. That is one BIG job! As soon as I blog I am going to turn on my sewing machine for the first time since getting home from AZ. Time to start stitching out a few Christmas ornaments! I did get the family room's decorating completely done last nice to have one room that is minus all the decorating mess...boxes, etc.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Snow is in the air!

When we got up this morning it was snowing...very lightly...though there was a light dusting in some areas. Tonight when I got in the car to go to our church's "Tree Lighting" it was again spitting snow and there was some snow on the car and it had actually stuck to the windshield. 'Tis the Season! Tonight three choirs sang Christmas songs and the congregation sang carols. The top children's choir is the 3-5 year-old choir...we had two grandchildren in that angel (Joy) and a star (Esther). Perfect for Esther to be a star since that is what her name means. The bottom children's choir is the 1st thru 5th grade choir and we had two grandchildren (Graham & Abigail) in that one too. They did sign language as they sang their song. At the end of the service, it was very pretty to see the tree light up in the dark sanctuary.

This morning Woody and I both went to Sunday School. He taught his class. When we got home Woody made another batch of pumpkin pudding and took it over to the neighbors when they got home from church. Then he made cran-apple crisp for us. Yum! This afternoon Kathy and I fuddled around till we were able to get our printer/copier to work to print off their Christmas letters. We were successful after a few trials and errors! Woody has read, watched football, and watched a DVD. I have still been decorating. My goal is to have the family room decorated before I go to bed tonight...time will tell if I meet that goal! It has been a good day to stay in and try to keep warm. It's supposed to get down in the low 20's tonight. Brrrrrrr! It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

'Tis the Season!

I am late tonight...could say that it is because it is 'tis the season...and it partly is...but mainly I couldn't get connected to the internet when it was time to blog, and then I went next door to sit with the children till Nathan and Kathy got home (that part was 'tis the season...they were Christmas shopping!) those are the reasons for the lateness. Melany, Erin and Alex were here today to take care of Graham, Abigail, Joy, Esther and Elijah so Nathan and Kathy could go Christmas shopping ALONE...well without children! I went over to sit with the kids after Melany got them to bed so she could head home with her two. So we had all seven of our grandchildren within reach today. Erin and Alex spent some time over here as well as next door. Alex suggested that he help me put our big Christmas tree he and I got started on it and then Graham joined us and we had a relay going...I fluffed the branches, Graham carried each branch to Alex and Alex put the branches on the tree. It went together quite quickly that way! Alex made sure that the tree "trunk" was really tight in the stand and then Graham put the tree skirt on. Graham learned that we always place the tree stand on a board to give some extra stability and that our tree stand was green and red...both those things are usually hidden under the tree skirt when they see the tree. Alex also helped me carry more decoration boxes downstairs. Melany did several art projects with the girls...which they look forward to when Aunt Melany comes. Nice to have an art teacher for an aunt! Graham worked on making a robot with his LEGO Mindstorm set. He made a really neat color sorting robot. Elijah enjoyed riding a horse...his Aunt Melany's knee. Everybody seemed to be having a good time when I checked in on them a time or two.

The leaf vacuum truck is back in our neighborhood so Woody got busy and raked quite a few leaves to the road this morning. Then this afternoon they got out the big leaf blower that I gave to Woody last Christmas (Woody still hasn't ever used it!) and Alex blew the leaves in Nathan and Kathy's front yard down to the road and Woody raked some more.

Erin and I walked around our block twice. Later Erin came over and helped me try to figure out some photography editing software that I am trying out. It seems to be second nature to kids and young adults these's not totally computing for me yet! She just sat down and did all sorts of different things to some giving her brother a moustache and changing colors on the pictures. I know that I will be asking Graham for help and also Nathan...I think that I'm going to need help! It is said that this software is very user friendly...but I haven't gotten to be friends with it yet!

Woody walked to the library this morning and then went to the community center and spun for thirty minutes. So it has been a very busy day.

Now for a Christmas memory/tradition that goes with tonight's picture which I took of the title of a little book that my sister gave me some years ago:

"'Tis the season" has always been a special saying that my mother, my sister, and I have said to each other over the years whenever we called on the phone during the month of December. It used to be that during the rest of the year, we only talked once a week...if that often...seems like Mother would call me one week and then I would call them the next...BUT during the Christmas season we would call more frequently and we would always start our conversations with "'Tis the Season!" This year having just seen them and the fact that my sister and I often talk every day due to both having Sprint cell we can call each other on a whim...we "almost" forget to say "'Tis the Season!" At the moment my sister's and my "'tis the season" calls usually start out with "No, I'm NOT finished decorating yet!" We had a couple of those calls to each other today!
(I have been known to start the conversation with "Bah Humbug" when the decorating seems to take too long and especially when I'm undecorating!) So far I'm still in a "'tis the season" mood!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Parade Night in Tullahoma!

And, all are thankful that the weather isn't like the above picture! This is one of the pictures that I took as we approached the bridge over the Mississippi going into Memphis on Tuesday...rather foggy and wet. Tonight's weather for the parade is clear...but nippy. Graham and Abigail are in the parade...they were so excited as they headed off (and, no, Abigail didn't have on a hundred pairs of underwear...but they both did have on long johns. Goosey and I are party poopers when it comes to the Tullahoma Christmas Parade...just too cold. We found out years ago that the reason that Melany and Nathan wanted to go to the parade was to get the candy that the clowns threw into the crowd. Once we found that out, Woody would offer them a bag of their favorite candy if we didn't have to go and freeze to death!

Woody has helped me take boxes up and down the stairs. He walked to the community center and spun for a little over a half hour. He has read. He has a list of things that he hopes to do on a given day. I think that he finished yesterday's list today. This morning he made pumpkin pudding (one of his specialities...much loved by Abigail and now it seems Elijah) and surprised Nathan, Kathy, and family with dessert for their lunch. We were in charge of Graham and Abigail for a short time before a friend picked them up for the parade. Nathan and Kathy and the three little ones are performing for the Huntsville Homeless Shelter workers and their families. After the parade Graham and Abigail will be dropped off here. We will see that they get chocolate and some bedtime stories and I'm sure that they will be ready to go to bed. Woody or I will sit over there till the rest of the family gets home. Tomorrow Aunt Melany (and Erin and Alex) are going to come and take care of the five neighbor children while Nathan and Kathy go Christmas shopping. I will continue to work on my Christmas decorating...have quite a bit done...but still quite a bit to go. Now I am going to post this quickly before I lose connection to the internet again...I was about to post fifteen minutes ago and internet disappeared along with the last paragraph of the blog!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Busy December Thursday

Tonight's picture is a Texas sunrise that I took while we were traveling down the road two days ago. You can see how flat the land was on that part of the Texas panhandle and you can see grain elevators on the horizon.

I have done a little more decorating...mainly getting boxes placed in the rooms that I plan to use the items in. The dining room table is getting fuller as I take more things off shelves, etc. After blogging, I plan to put out our Precious Moments nativity set. I went to the church library for several hours this afternoon. Another library worker and I got out Christmas books to put on display. As I left the house to go to the church, Woody headed out the door to walk to the community center. He spun on an exercise bike for a half hour and then walked back home. He has helped me get boxes down and put empty boxes away. This evening I have placed a couple of orders for Christmas presents.

Before I could post tonight's blog, Nathan called needing help with eye drops. Kathy was away and he had gotten something in his eye. The children were all upstairs when I got over there. Joy happened to come down and spotted me. She tore off upstairs to inform the rest that Grammy was downstairs. So I got lots of hugs...minus Elijah...he was already asleep. Abigail is so excited...she and Graham are going to be in Tullahoma's Christmas parade tomorrow night. They are going to be on our church's float. Abigail told me that they are supposed to wear hundreds of pairs of underwear to keep warm! The parade night always seems to be one of the coldest nights of the year! Graham and Nathan juggled for me...Graham has learned how to pass balls while he is juggling. They set a new record while I was over there...11 passes before dropping. Nathan's eye was obviously better since he was able to juggle! The children were all excited because they had discovered that Christmas presents had been put under the tree. I told them that I had been ordering some Christmas presents just before going over to their house. Graham guessed that I was ordering the "pickle present." I told him that some people were pretty good guessers...he gave me a big grin!

While we were gone this afternoon, we got a message left on the answering machine from one of Dr. Sosman's research nurses. She was just checking on how things are going for Woody...they check periodically. I will call her back tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December is here!

I am having trouble realizing that it is already December. Normally the house would be decorated and here I am just starting to decorate today. I got up and hit the floor and headed to decoration boxes and started taking some downstairs to their appropriate room. Last night I did start decorating the corner tree in the family room. I wasn't able to finish it because I hadn't unearthed the ornament hangers. I have the dining room table opened to its full size and put the table pad on it and am putting things that I have out during the year that are to be replaced by Christmas. That way I have blank surfaces to decorate. Then after I get decorated I will use some of the empty boxes to store the things that I have put on the dining room table.

I took a break from decorating and Joy came over and read to me out of a Dick and Jane book. She is the third to go through the Dick and Jane series of books (we have some and the church library has some). She is loving them like her brother and sister did before her and I am enjoying the memories that they bring back of me learning to read. After Joy read, Esther came over and we made some words with the movable alphabet (Montessori method of learning to sound out words).

I spent the rest of the afternoon decorating (the corner tree is finished) and making White Chili. While I was finishing up the chili, Kathy came over to trim Woody's hair...he needed his sideburns, neck, and over his ears trimmed...his first hair cut since he lost his hair due to the chemo that he had this summer. This morning Woody went to the Credit Union and went to the grocery store. It has seemed like Saturday all day to me...a bit hard to get back into a routine after a trip!

I took tonight's blog picture out the car window on the way home yesterday. I ended up making it a black and white picture with my photo software, but it was almost black and white without using the software. You can see the heavy clouds. I learned today that some of the areas that we traveled through yesterday got tremendous amounts of rain yesterday...some close to 5 inches...there was some flash flooding but we saw none and just "sailed" on down the road. We did take a state highway from Memphis to home rather than the interstate, as Woody doesn't like to be passed by trucks on the interstate when it is raining...not that any of us do! It was very pleasant driving through the countryside and through all the towns along the way. It is a shorter way, but takes longer since you have to slow down in all the towns, etc.

Again, I will say that we really had a good time in Arizona...glad that we were able to make this trip and glad to be safely home.